Kid proof light switches


Active Member
My architect asked the question today and I had no answer and the search didn't help. I'm wondering if experience has shown the switches and keypads to be kid proof. I'll end up having SA UPB switches, Caddx keypads and various other HA interfaces, but no touch screens.

Any people here with kids care to give some feedback how well this stuff will handle 2/4/6 year old kids...

Are you worried about kids damaging them or turning them on? The devices you mentioned are well made and have warranties on them. They should be fine. In addition, if you are using SA switches, the plates are replaceable.
But those are not automated outlets (no pun intended). It really depends on what is meant by 'kid proof'. I would not worry about damaging SAI switches. Also, how many 2 or 4 year olds can even reach the switches to mess with them?
My 5 year old hasn't damaged any switches even the ACT ones :) .

I have more problems explaining things to the grandparents when they can't figure out the switches.
Thanks for the input guys. He was more worried about the kids breaking things than anything else. When I looked at the SA switches they looked fine to me and bottom line I can swap out the faces. I am leaning towards not putting UPB switches in the kids rooms at first just to minimize the over runs...

BTW a two year old can reach switches no problem, if there is a stool around he'll be amused for a good 10 minutes turning a light on and off, without the stool his arm gets tired after a minute or so...

My kids haven't managed to destroy anything yet, but they can make you cringe when you watch them play with stuff. I would think touchscreens would be out, but I don't have any to know for sure. My guess is pens, crayons and the occasional whack with a toy because they couldn't reach it would be bad for them. If they think something looks cool, they will play with it.... I guess that just makes guys that like to play with this stuff overgrown kids (and I break more stuff then they do).
Every INSTEON switch that I have upstairs that my kids use are damaged. They either do not work anymore or the programming is messed up.
I had X10 in the house when my kids were growing up. Wasn't very interesting to them and they didn't break anything as opposed to everything else (holes in the wall, metal in in the outlets, soccer ball through the window etc. Our cleaning lady never could figure out how to work a Leviton X-10 switch and would always turn it off with the disconnect toggle. Now the kids are grown and I have Insteon switches in. My oldest son delights in fiddling with these occaisionally to tease his mother, siblings if they happen to be home. The cleaning lady has no problem with them because they toggle on and off. My wife pokes them hard with her finger and sometimes punches them if they can't read her mind and do exactly what she wants at the moment--no damage so far. I guess what I've learned is that people need switches to behave simply, reliably and as expected and I've configured all of the automation with that in mind.